Plan for mass transit system moves to new phase

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The Indiana House passed a bill on to the Senate that would allow Marion and Hamilton counties to vote on a tax increase to help pay for a proposed mass transit plan. Now, developers are moving on to a more serious planning phase, involving exact routes and station stops.

“This starts a series of discussions where we’re really starting specific routes. What streets are we going to run through? Where are the stops going to be? What are the environmental impacts? What are the neighborhood impacts?” said Ehren Bingaman, executive director of the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority.

The $1.3 billion Indy Connect project would include a downtown hub for connections and transfers, as well as double local bus service and add five rapid transit lines.

Organizers are turning their attention to three of those five lines in this next stage of the process. The Red Line would run from Greenwood through downtown north to Carmel. The Blue Line would run east to west with a stop at Indianapolis International Airport. The Green Line would take passengers from downtown up to Noblesville with a series of stops along the way.

One of those stops could be along the old railroad tracks near Graham Road and 71st Street in the area of the Binford Redevelopment and Growth (BRAG) organization.

“We are always looking to the future. What will this area look like in 20, 30 years? How do we make old suburbia viable? How do we make it grow? How do we increase property values? Much of that is reflected in the idea of having better transit,” said Kas Vargo, BRAG Board president.

Indy Connect is hosting a series of public meetings for communities to weigh in on where the routes and station stops should be. The first is Tuesday, February 26 at the Fishers Train Station to discuss plans for the Green Line.

Click here to view the Indy Connect schedule for public meetings.

8 comments

  • Taxed to death

    Taxpayers reread 1.3 BILLION. Plus new water /sewage tax. 7% sales tax . New higher parking tax.Food Beverage Tax. rental car tax. We no longer want to pay to live in this county. We are moving.

  • Guest

    If the Red Line is to run from Greenwood to Carmel, why isn't Johnson County part of the proposed tax increase?
    The doughnut counties are taxed for the football stadium. Tax 'em on this billion dollar project, too.

  • Guest

    Tax Increases. Tax Increases. Tax Increases. How easily Congresspeople say that with a shrug. People of central Indiana, if this is a great idea, the private sector would be investing in it. THERE IS A REASON PRIVATE INVESTORS WON'T BUILD THIS! IT'S A FINANCIAL LOSER!!! I, as an income taxpayer, am really tired of being the joke of legislator's stupid ideas. They sure like doing risky things with MY money!!!! This transit line with not be a benefit to me, or anyone in Marion County, whatsoever. Take the train to Hammy for a job?? Who is going to do that? Drive downtown, park your car, take a train to Hammy and back to work every day. Absolutely ridiculous to think people will do that. This train is for the benefit of Hammy's and no one else and they want everyone else to pay for it b/c they have spent all their taxpayer's money. Makes me sick.

  • Justin

    The only downfall to this plan is that price tag but they are going to have to spend money to make money. This light rail from all the different areas will make money and allow people to get to the jobs on the southside when they live on the north side and do not have the means to get down there. The bus system in Indy sucks. They run late all the time and the routes are not helpful for everyone. This light rail will give everyone multiple ways to get where they are going and free up traffic on the interstates and downtown. Taxes are going to go up anyway. The legislature will find a way to tax the people of central Indiana no matter what and always will. I do agree though if the train runs to your county, then that county needs to be taxed just like Marion and Hamilton. If a train line runs to Boone County for the Zionsville crowd and Johnson County then those counties need to be ponying up the dough as well. This shouldn't just land on Marion and Hamilton County tax payers.

    • Rick

      The light rail will make money ????? Take your head out of your rear and find me ANY transit rail system around this country that makes money. It will be a short list because there ISN'T ANY !! Worst idea EVER. Increase bus lines, make much more parking available, fix the freaking streets, on and on. We do NOT have the money, even with tax increases to do this.

      • MeatPlow

        It is the dumbest thing ever. Even the fair train is empty half the time, this train (or trains) will be empty and then vandalized by that class of person who has to take a stupid train. We are going to pay for this. Maybe it will help us win the Super Bowl, or Olympics… yeah right.

  • Mary

    To the people who say, "No one in Marion County will use this", please do not make this assumption and speak for everyone. Have you polled everyone to come to this opinion? I am here to tell you that I am a 30-something person living in Marion County with a decent middle class job and would love to use improved mass transit and so would my husband. Currently I don't use the bus because there are too few routes and thus too inconvenient. It would take me 2 hours to get from my house in South Broad Ripple to my job in Speedway. But if there are more buses and more routes and the times it took to get from point A to point B reduced, I would definitely take the bus. If there were convenient routes downtown, we'd also use them for going out on the weekends rather than drive – we wouldn't have to worry about designated drivers! I've done the math, and at least for me the money I'd save on buying less gas would outweigh the .003 increase in my taxes. I understand that wouldn't be the same for everyone so I understand the outcry. But please don't speak on behalf of everyone. Put me in the column for someone would would use this and is supporting it.

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